When the Greater Lansing Food Bank pulled into the Potterville United Methodist Church on Tuesday, April 15 a small army of volunteers immediately got to work. In a matter of minutes, tables spread throughout the church were filled with nearly 1,700 pounds of baked goods.
“The program has really expanded in the last year,” said Joann Taylor, a member of the Potterville United Methodist Women’s (PUMW) ministry and organizer of the monthly program that distributes baked goods to families in the greater-Potterville area.
The baked goods are gathered by the Greater Lansing Food Bank throughout the month from area grocery stores and distributed to PUMC the third Tuesday of each month. The baked goods, which include a number of different kinds of bread, rolls, donuts, cakes, bagels, cookies and muffins, don’t cost the church anything. The United Methodist Women simply cover the cost to deliver the items.
Once the items are sorted, volunteers open the doors to anyone who would like to fill a couple grocery bags to take home.
“Last month we delivered 54 banana boxes full of food to people and we had 57 families walk through our doors,” Taylor said. “We received 2,287 pounds of baked goods last month.”
The deliveries are taken to area seniors, apartment complexes, churches and local non-profits, Taylor said. She said the program was started last year when the PUMW were looking to add another ministry.
Adding the monthly baked goods delivery seemed like a logical fit. Taylor learned she could get the baked goods for free from her brother, Phil Grimwood, director of Helping Hands Food Pantry in Charlotte. The PUMW were already involved in helping with the Potterville Food Pantry and hosting Community Dinners the first and second Monday of the month. The Community Dinners typically serve 170 people a month.
The baked goods have served as a perfect extension of what the women were already proving.
“A lot of our seniors really rely on it,” Taylor said.
The next baked goods distribution date is Tuesday, May 20 at Potterville United Methodist Church. For more information, call PUMC at (517) 645-7701.